A sea of snuggles is washing over Orkney this summer, thanks to a local women’s group supplying hundreds of nursery children with hand-knitted teddies.
The members of the Orkney Scottish Women’s Institute want every nursery pupil to have a teddy to hug this summer.
After over a year of disruptions to learning and life, the volunteers want children to have a pal close to hand during the summer break.
They delivered the first batches of hand-knitted teddy bears to Mainland nurseries this week. Come August, they’ll supply children in the linked isles with furry friends of their own.
Teddies for every nursery in Orkney
Orkney SWI President Ann Linklater said her group started the project after hearing about a similar gift of teddy bears to kids at Papdale Nursery.
“We heard how proud the bairns were to receive them,” she said. So she decided to find out how many it would take to supply every nursery in Orkney.
“A request was sent out to all Institutes in the county for approximately 350 teddies to be knitted. As usual the response was very good, and we got some help from friends too and this was greatly appreciated by myself.
With so many stuffed animals involved, the SWI members decided to deliver first to the Mainland schools. In August, they’ll deliver the rest to the isles, including the linked isles of Burray and South Ronaldsay.
Catherine Diamond, OIC service manager for early learning and childcare, said the children will love their gifts.
“We thank the ladies for their sterling efforts which has brought a smile to many this week. We know these special teddy bears will be well loved.”
More about Orkney SWI
The SWI is described as a social, friendly, forward-thinking organisation. Members come together to share their heritage, develop skills and find support and friendship.
Ms Linklater said that the group has stayed close during the pandemic and she is looking forward to more in-person activities.
“There are shows and competitions at Institute, Federation or National level which are not compulsory but great camaraderie is enjoyed.
“I have found this organisation very advantageous, learning new crafts and meeting many new friends at Federation and National level having been a member for over 40 years.”